The 2012 Presidential and Congressional election are perhaps the most important election in our nations history – - for most white males.
Of all the socio-economic classes into which one could divide the United States’ population, white males over the last generation have done the most to self destruct. For example, for no other group, women, blacks, Latinos, homosexuals, can it be said that without exception as a class they have failed to achieve the economic, social and educational attainments of their parents. Women continue to outperform their mothers (as well as white men), although they remain horridly underpaid relative to White Males for the same work. Individual Blacks, despite the horrendous impact of youth unemployment and vociferous opposition from mostly white males continue in fits and starts to leave the lowest paying labor intensive jobs their parents were relegated to and move into the professional and managerial classes. Latinos carry on fleeing the feudal rural and demeaning service jobs they had historically been assigned. Despite the crushing burden of the current economic crisis that has fallen most heavily on them, they still are doing marginally better than their parents.
But, most white males from the middle and lower classes especially in the mid-West and the South are not. They persist in their decline from the economic and social backbone of our nation to become all too often hate-filled failures in life spewing venom born of their frustration and ignorance upon those who have begun to supplant them.
And, if truth be known, they chose this path. Although there are several downward paths that they have chosen to follow, perhaps most significantly they chose to rely on their privileged position and refused to educate themselves. They now are becoming less equipped to survive in the modern world. Meanwhile women and immigrants and children of immigrants continue grow their dominance in enrollment in our nations colleges and universities.
This group that has chosen to be left behind are the heart and soul of the modern conservative movement.
To hear it from these white males, based upon their internet posts and the rhetoric of their spokesmen, it is mostly because of the unfair advantages given over the years to these others. This is nonsense. At best these others were helped into a position where they could compete for jobs and for educational attainment that were denied them by these same white males. It was the job of these privileged white males (like they demand of everyone but themselves) to meet the competition by, for example studying harder and getting even better grades. But instead they complained and sought the solution the uncompetitive always seek, to use government to limit the competition by denying their competitors the ability to compete (After all isn’t that what tax breaks and industrial subsidies are all about).
Now do not get me wrong, I find things like forced busing for integration abhorrent since its negative impact fell almost exclusively on the working classes. Similarly the demand for governmental actions that helped to weaken and perhaps destroy the labor movement while leaving the nation's boardrooms to voluntarily accommodate social change, appeared suspicious to me.
Nevertheless, the continued decline of this class cannot be attributed to these programs alone. For example white women along with women of color have thrived in school (although still paid woefully less than their white male counterparts for the same work). That certainly cannot be blamed on Title IX, abortion or availability of contraception. Or could it? Perhaps this is one of the reasons for the almost unreasonable hate shown by the Republican Party towards women.
It is advantageous to the economic and political élite to attempt to harness the dissatisfaction and fear of this previously all-powerful group in order to achieve its economic and political goals. No matter what else you may consider them to be, this economic and political élite is not stupid. If they cannot win riding on the back of dissatisfaction of white males, they will find another horse to ride in future elections. Most likely they will decide on appealing more to women and Latinos. If they do so I expect the assaults on woman’s privacy and issues regarding border security will recede from their prominent position in the Party’s platform.
I believe it possible that Mitt Romney could be the last white male presidential candidate to be put forth by the Republican Party for a long time. I guess that, should Obama win reelection, the Republicans will field a woman and latino ticket for the 2016 presidential election to face the Democratic Party’s similar gender and ethnic ticket. I expect that one of the standard bearers will also be black. (It should be noted, that the Romney campaign first toyed with a Latino and most recently floated the possibility of adding a black female to the ticket.)
Recently John Scalzi covered similar ground in his article Straight While Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is. While his essay is obviously better written, we take a slightly different point of view. He examines the benefits society bestows on straight males. He writes:
“I’ve been thinking of a way to explain to straight white men how life works for them, without invoking the dreaded word “privilege,” to which they react like vampires being fed a garlic tart at high noon. It’s not that the word “privilege” is incorrect, it’s that it’s not their word. When confronted with “privilege,” they fiddle with the word itself, and haul out the dictionaries and find every possible way to talk about the word but not any of the things the word signifies.”*I, on the other hand, speculate on the possibility this may be their last hurrah; unless they pull the whole thing down on all of us in a suicidal attempt to prevent anyone else falling heir to what they have obviously mismanaged.
Finally on the issue of Miasandry about which a blog was posted in Daily Kos yesterday, see my quote below and my previous diaries in Daily Kos. It cannot be anti-male bigotry, when all that men are offering is at best a share of a system designed by them to benefit them. There have been societies run substantially differently than those imposed by men and, more often than not, white men at that. There is no rule that requires the philosophies and arts created by men whether white or not are or will be the same a those developed by woman not burdened by many thousands of years of what could only be adequately described as a world-wide conspiracy against them.
NOTE: I am a white male. True many years ago while growing up, as the child of immigrants from Southern Europe, I was not considered really “white,” and only joined the white race as a young adult. (Nor were my Jewish friends and of course Puerto Ricans flooding into NY at the time. The latter had not yet graduated from “non-white” to “Spanish surnamed.”) I was subject to the jokes of the then exclusive club of whiteness and maleness similar to what Latinos are subject to today; such as the ring our oily skin left around the bathtub.
On the Role of Civil Society:
Why would anyone be morally bound or wish to be morally bound to a civil society that does not share the goal that it’s citizens deserve a fair distribution of wealth, income and power? If the civil society is not dedicated to that end what else could it possibly be dedicated to? What is freedom, to those without wealth, income or power?Trenz Pruca
For at least 10,000 years or so virtually every political system, economic system and religion has been designed by men for men. There is no natural or divine law that requires any of these structures to be designed in the way that they have been. During those same 10,000 years every justification of those structures have been developed by men to benefit men.Trenz Pruca
On the Republican Party’s political playbook:
Nothing is so inconsequential that it cannot be used by the Republican Party as an opportunity to hold the nation at ransom in an effort to bring down the opposition partyTrenz Pruca